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Dr. Cynthia Olivo Named President of Fullerton College

Dr. Cynthia Olivo has been named as the new president of Fullerton College. She will assume her new position in January 2023.

Dr. Olivo’s appointment was announced Thursday morning by the NOCCCD Board of Trustees. The Board will formally approve Olivo’s appointment at its regular meeting on November 8.

“The NOCCCD Board of Trustees has enthusiastically agreed that Dr. Cynthia Olivo is the best choice to lead Fullerton College at this key time in the college’s history,” said Jacqueline Rodarte, Board President. “She is a proven leader in higher education, bringing experience, innovation and a true commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism to the Fullerton community.”

Dr. Olivo has 27 years of higher education experience, and is in her 22nd year as an administrator. She is currently the Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Student Services at Pasadena City College, which serves 23,000 students. In her roles at Pasadena City College, where she has served for 15 years, Dr. Olivo has also been the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Associate Dean of Counseling. At California State University, San Bernardino she served as Associate Director of Admissions and Student Recruitment. Dr. Olivo is also an adjunct faculty member at University of Southern California and Pasadena City College.

“I am very excited to join the Fullerton College community, and look forward to serving in this capacity,” said Dr. Olivo. “The student-centered approach of this college reflects my personal mission for working in community colleges. I look forward to the strides we can make together for student equity and success.”

Dr. Olivo’s academic credentials include a Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis in Urban Leadership from Claremont Graduate University, as well as a Master of Science in Counseling & Guidance and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from California State University, San Bernardino.

“I am very much looking forward to working with Dr. Olivo,” said Chancellor Byron D. Clift Breland, “and am confident that she will provide excellent, inclusive, and student-focused leadership at Fullerton College. Not only is Dr. Olivo a proven leader who ‘walks the walk,’ she personally identifies with the challenges faced by our students and the broader Fullerton College and NOCCCD communities. Furthermore, she fully embraces the opportunity to provide transformational, as well as ethical, leadership so that all members of the community benefit and can subsequently reach their educational goals.”

Dr. Olivo was selected for the Aspen Presidential Fellows Program Class of 2017, as well as completed the Harvard Institute for Management & Leadership in Education and the American Council on Education Advancing to the Presidency.

Dr. Olivo is active at the local, state, and national level, serving as: the President of the Chief Student Services Officer Association; the President of the California Community College Organizacion de Latinx Guidance, Empowerment & Advocacy for Success (COLEGAS); and as a founding member of The Coalition, an organization including A2MEND and APAHE. She has also served on the Jobs for the Future Policy & Leadership Trust in Washington D.C. and on the Executive Board for National Community College Hispanic Council.

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